Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hello Melbourne! - The Arrival

Travelling is addictive. I swear guys, it really is! My addiction for travelling started after my Europe trip with family a few years ago. After that, rasa gatalllll je nak berjalan. Pi dekat-dekat pun takpe lah, janji jalannnnn. Hehehe. I told my husband it's so important for us to travel because the kids need to see the world and experience things when we travel. They become cleverer that way. You want genius kids right, husband? :D #alasanmintakpenampor

First thing first, we needed tourist visa in order to travel to Melbourne. Yeap, travelling to Australia requires tourist visa guys. There are 2 ways to apply for one - online or via agent. The charges vary depending how you apply too - some RM60, some RM30 and some RM20/person. We got ours for RM20/person! :D #score

How we got ours for so cheap? Super easy! All we did was contact, provided them with the necessary documents they needed (passport copies, ticket details, etc) and they did the rest for us :D Super convenient!

And then, all there was to do was just wait for the date to come! Now this was the tormenting part. Aydein  even had a calendar that he made himself for the countdown! :P But after what seemed like a million years, it finally did. We were going to Melbourne! :D

Contrary to our last oversea trip to Europe, traveling on a 8-hour flight was quite a breeze, now that the kids are all grown up. They behaved very well, just playing or watching movies together. I was even able to have some quality sleep, unlike last time!

The next thing we know, we've reached Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne!

We arrived Melbourne very early in the morning. It was about 1am in the morning when we reached our hotel - Treasury on Collins.

We were informed prior to our arrival that there will be no one at the Reception considering it was odd hours, but despite that, the checking-in process was super easy & efficient. All we needed to do was enter the code that was given to unlock the hotel's "back door", collect our room key in a safe, and then go straight up to our room. Super easy, fuss-free check-in! Exactly what we need after a long tiring journey.

The moment we stepped into our room, we were blown away. It is LOVEEEEE! Aien has always wanted to try staying in a boutique hotel, and Treasury on Collins is just perfect! It's actually an apartment-hotel, so it has everything - kitchen complete with its kitchenware, washing machine complete with its detergent, iron, iron board, fridge, microwave, milk, snacks, even free Netflix! Senang cerita, it makes our 4-day stay here very worthwhile lah!

I absolutely love their room decor. Simple je, but looks classy still.

The best thing about this place is also the fact that it provides free in-room wifi! Might not sound much of a big deal to you because it's pretty normal here in Malaysia but here's what you need to know - most of the hotels in Australia do not provide this in-room wifi service complimentary, not even the 5-stars hotels. Nak wifi boleh, tapi bayar ah bebbb. AUD20-29 on average per day ye, depending on where you stay. AUD tau. So you do the math! :D

Now some ask me, why not use Airbnb service during our stay in Australia? After all, Australia has many beautiful houses to stay in. Very true, and we almost did. But in the end, we decided to stay in a proper hotel instead. Here's why:

1) We travelled in a small family of 4, with 2 kids on tow. We don't know the house owner, nor the neighborhood. If something were to happen to us, how do we defend ourselves? Lain lah kalau travel with big families kan.

2) We were told that Australia is one of the countries affected by Islamophobia. To make matters worse, at the time of our travel, the issue on Paris attack was still very fresh. Again, it comes back to security issue. What if the house owner is not Muslim-friendly? Even if the house owner is, we can't be certain that the neighborhood would be.

3) I also read reviews on Airbnb that some service apartment's front desk staffs are not very friendly. There is a case where the guests were treated rudely when the service apartment's front desk found out that the guests were not the house owner.

Weighing on all these reasons, we felt like it was better to stay at a proper hotel where guests are required to be treated professionally. Habis cerita. Orang nak pi holiday, seronok-seronok. Ni kita dok takut-takut, risau sana sini. Tak payah. Dok hotel je dah. :D

So what did we do on our first day in Melbourne? Coming up next, on another entry! :)